November 11, 2015 by cristindoyle
Winter break is around the corner! How great is it that we get 5-6 weeks off to relax, recoup, and even better ourselves. In our exhausted, student minds this is a nice break where we get to binge watch Netflix or sit around celebrating with our families, but it’s also a nice chunk of time you can be using to improve your skills!
To put it into perspective, an average summer study abroad program is 4-6 weeks. Think how much a student experiences in that time! So why not take a second look at your winter break and think how you could be using your time to practice transferable skills or improve your network.
If you’ve had an internship in your home town, the break is a great time to get back in touch with those co-workers and maintain a meaningful network. Reach out through an email and ask to get lunch! People are very willing to make time for young, engaged students.
In the same fashion, it is also a great time to set up informational interviews. Reach out to employers you may have met at events here in Austin and utilize that extra time and brain power to get coffee or have an informational interview over the phone. If you want a more hands on experience, reach out and ask if you can shadow them for a day. This helps you because you get to hear about your network’s day to day work and get a good grasp on their industry as you move towards a full-time job.
It may seem difficult to find a job for such a short time, but I find HireUTexas especially useful for these types of jobs. You can specify a city and often times positions are even paid. Getting an internship, even if short, can help you add transferable skills to your resume, and more importantly, give you firsthand experience. This allows you to test drive a certain type of work before you commit to a full-time offer.
Don’t forget to use LinkedIn as a resource! LinkedIn’s student website is a great place to dive in and learn about how to best use the tool over the break! You can learn about the Alumni Tool, the Student Jobs Portal and more! If you have plenty of plans already but you still want to increase your worth, check out Lynda.com. As a McCombs student you have free access to thousands of videos that can teach you great skills in excel or technology to keep you competitive!
Most of all, enjoy your break, and follow the path that interests YOU. Don’t let these few weeks go and forego the chance to better yourself!
Pro Tip: Stop by next week (11/18) and get great advice especially for Juniors and Seniors from BBA Career Services Director, Velma Arney. She’s excited to talk with you and hear your questions. Enjoy free coffee and sweets too!